If the people who decide what gets played at classical music concerts are stuck in a rut of same old, same old—Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, with the occasional Brahms or Mahler thrown in to show how with-it they are—it’s not Rose Chancler’s fault. Sometimes it seems like the Westport music educator is on a single-handed crusade to bring new, exciting music by lesser known but highly talented composers before a wider audience here in the North Country. Some of them are even alive! Gasp!
Rose, whose music studio occupies the old Hamilton building here in town, runs Piano by Nature, the live music program that is her main weapon in the aforementioned crusade. Piano by Nature’s regular performances take place in the Hand House in Elizabethtown, which for my money is one of the region’s most under-appreciated historical landmarks and resources. This weekend Rose herself will perform in a chamber concert entitled Metamusic, featuring trio music by the outstanding contemporary composers Eychenne, Dykstra, Hartley, and Chambers.
Not only are the composers not decomposing, but the combination of instruments, too, is unusual. Rose will play the piano, Dan Gordon of Plattsburgh will play the saxophone, and Marilyn Reynolds of Rouses Point will play the violin. And there will be a special guest appearance by Westport resident Jenn Moore, who is the Willsboro Central School conductor. That’s Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m. at the Hand House. For information and reservations call 962-2949 or visit www.pianobynature.org.
Congratulations to the Youth Commission’s fifth-sixth grade boys’ and girls’ Biddy Basketball teams, coached by Keith Lobdell and Heather Clark, who both came away with top honors at the tournament held on March 1 in the school gym. Cousins Annette Stephens and McKenzie Stephens were named to the all-tournament team, while Maggie Ploufe and Blake Liberi were the tournament’s most outstanding players. Annette, by the way, clinched it for the girls by hitting a game-winning buzzer beater.
Liberi was also named a second team all star at the Missing Children’s Tournament the following week in Au Sable Forks, scoring 37 points in one game.
Next weekend the Westport Drama Club presents “Rumpelstiltskin,” an imaginative retelling of the classic fairy tale, in the school auditorium on Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29 at 7 p.m. More on this next time, but save the date!